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Balloon Boy, Later

August 25, 2011

by Courtney Druz

What I was smelling doesn’t match the rest—
dust, old cardboard, sawn wood, insulation foam.
Gray light rose from the edge of the trap door
but I saw only high blue, ice-cream smooth
and tongue-tingeing, flying.

I knew I was in a box.
But I was gone too, riding the big silver cloud
away from their combs and cameras,
wind prickling, coasting over sky like fresh snow
under my inflatable sled. And everything down there
was Legos, lame toys, little ant cars creeping.

I remember Dad yelling not to touch the balloon;
I’ve seen the video. And my secret pulse then,
knowing what would happen, the Mylar frosted in light
and soaring. I’m not sure why I hid.
I know what people say, but after so many years
it’s all a jumble. What is certain:

Finding the portal to the unknown crystal place
and sailing off, hoisting my strength
against a gelid, consequential world
and being discovered in an attic,
dragged back down, grounded.


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Courtney Druz (website) has worked as a graphic designer, an architect, and, for the last seven years, as an at-home poet-mom. Her poems have been published in a variety of journals including Euphony, Prick of the Spindle, The Other Journal, specs, and Zeek.

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